Grand Rounds: Room for Improvement?
1) Excellent set of posts this week.
2) Is it possible that Grand Rounds are getting too big? Perhaps those that host it might consider paring down the number of entries that are actually published more? It's getting difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff!
Perhaps we need to decide what the purpose of Grand Rounds should be? To increase the traffic of all who submit entries or to elevate and educate those that come to Grand Rounds to read and learn and gather insight from the many different perspectives represented (Physicians, nurses, researchers, administrators, payers and of course patients).
Personally, I'd opt for the latter. The great thing about the blogosphere is its democratic nature. Traffic comes to those who write clearly and have something to say. Grand Rounds should be one more way of bringing readers to the "best" of the medical blogs. Far be it for me to define what the "best" is. I'm perfectly content to have the criteria for that decision vary from week to week depending on who the host is.
I'd simply recommend that those hosts limit the number of entries on each given week. It's unrealistic to expect that every entry (or given the explosion of medical blogs, even most entries) are of equivalent interest to readers. I'd like to see the hosts worry less about potentially offending bloggers whose entries on a given edition were rejected.
I'm not in any way advocating a form of elitism here. Each blog entry should be taken at its face value for consideration. Each participant in the world of medical blogging should be judged on an equal footing by the hosts.
Again, I'd hate to have anyone accuse me of being elitist here or of in any way promoting elitism. The quality of the blogosphere I enjoy and admire the most is its all encompassing nature. I read medical blogs from many different countries, from both providers and consumers of healthcare, from different medical specialties, etc. Grand Rounds is a great opportunity for me to get introduced to perspectives and blogs I've never been aware of before.
I think this will move us away from the more superficial objective of simply increasing traffic to our own blogs.
3) I have very mixed feelings about the involvement WebMD in this edition of Grand Rounds. As a commercial website, I think its representation here again raises questions about the purpose of Grand Rounds. I'd like to see a "purer" Grand Rounds that doesn't become yet another marketing tool for different aspects of the healthcare industry.
Please don't take this as in any way impuning the very nice entries of the various WebMD blogs of this edition. I'm just expressing my personal vision of where I'd like to see Grand Rounds go. I think it would be nice to exclude"commercial" websites from these pages. Maybe I'm wrong about this but I think it's worth throwing the idea out.
I only want Grand Rounds to continue to serve that function, both for myself and also for all who come here to be enlightened, entertained and occasionally inspired.